NTSPP – 587 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 587

A Puzzle by Shabbo

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This post represents a major milestone in the history of Big Dave’s Crossword Blog as it is post number 10,000!  BD

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Shabbo provides a pangram for our Saturday afternoon entertainment


1     They reportedly set wheels in motion to get military materials (6)
KHAKIS A homophone (reportedly) of some items that start a motor vehicle (set wheels in motion)

4     A Royal Navy cable at sea – it might get stuck to the bottom? (8)
BARNACLE An anagram (at sea) of A RN (Royal Navy) CABLE

10     Deadly wave on vacation terrifies a friend across the channel (7)
TSUNAMI The outside (on vacation) letters of TerrifieS, and the French (across the channel) indefinite article and friend

11     Dieter emerges from Himmler’s leaderless organisation (7)
SLIMMER An anagram (organisation) of hIMMLERS (leaderless telling you to omit the H)

12     Dress for the South of France (4)
MIDI A type of dress or the South of France

13     Takes another look at prices sent abroad (10)
REINSPECTS An anagram (abroad) of PRICES SENT

15     Apple gets money back (6)
RENNET An apple of certain old varieties is a reversal (back) of an informal term for a ten-pound note (money)

16     American composer is short with lightweight French composer (7)
BERLIOZ Almost all (is short) of an American composer plus a small (light) weight

20     Hated to work as a midwife on reflection (7)
REVILED A reversal (on reflection) of a verb meaning to work as a midwife

21     Key opponents meet on headland (6)
ESCAPE Two opponents in a game of bridge and a headland

24     Keep afloat in raw treated waste (5,5)
TREAD WATER An anagram (waste) of RAW TREATED

26    Cardinal favouring University being admitted (4)
FOUR Insert (being admitted) the abbreviation for University into a preposition meaning favouring

28     Written testimonial of mine inside each pub (7)
EPITAPH A mine inserted inside the abbreviations for each and a public house

29     Reckoned everyone will be drawn outside (7)
TALLIED Another way of saying drawn goes outside a synonym for everyone

30     Exchange rate is guaranteed with gold (8)
TREASURE An anagram (exchange) of RATE followed by a way of saying ‘is guaranteed’

31     Rents with comfort in outskirts of Leeds (6)
LEASES A synonym for comfort goes in the ‘outskirts’ of LeedS


1     High flier to sign seal of approval (4,4)
KITEMARK Something that flies high and a verb meaning to sign

2     A rock and roll reversal revealing riches (9)
ABUNDANCE A (from the clue) and a dance and a roll changing places (reversal)

3     State intelligence covering artillery (4)
IRAQ The abbreviation for intelligence ‘covering’ the abbreviation for the Royal Artillery    

5     A social flyer posted internally for missing person (8)
ABSENTEE A (from the clue) and a social flying insect into which is inserted (internally) another way of saying posted

6     Arrest East European for digital cover-up (4,6)
NAIL POLISH An informal word for arrest and the nationality of a particular Eastern European

7     Funny award given to international opener in cricket club (5)
COMIC The abbreviated Order of Merit (award) and the ‘opener’ of International inserted into the abbreviation for Cricket Club

8     Officious sergeant holds up departure (6)
EGRESS Hidden in reverse (holds up) in officiouS SERGEant

9/18     To hamper, perhaps, or to take arms against a sea of troubles? (5,8)
MIXED METAPHOR Perhaps indicates an anagram of TO HAMPER, the first word of the solution being another anagram indicator 

14     Where dishonest landlords might be found? (6,4)
BEHIND BARS The dishonest ones might be in prison, the rest of them can be found in the right places in pubs to serve their customers

17     Essentially moral politicians seen at places of worship (9)
ORATORIES The ‘essential’ letters of mORAl and the informal term for the Conservative Party (politicians)

18     See 9

19     She fusses around newly-wed from the Western Isles (8)
HEBRIDES An anagram (fusses) of SHE goes around a newly-wed lady

22     Student leaves letters scattered by the road (6)
STREET The abbreviation for student leaves an anagram (scattered) of lETTERS

23     Zoom meeting with heartless Tory in the dock (5)
JETTY A verb meaning to fly quickly (zoom) and the outside (heartless) letters of TorY

25     The best low calorie drug? (5)
ELITE With a hyphen after the first letter, this might be a way of describing a low calorie Ecstasy tablet

27     Down right offensive (4)
BLUE Triple definition – miserable (down), the colour symbolising right-wing politics or an informal way of saying offensive


10,000 blog posts is a tremendous milestone, but what Big Dave didn’t tell you yesterday is that, if you add together the number of ‘Admin’ and ‘Big Dave’ posts, more than a quarter of them have been posted by him!

27 comments on “NTSPP – 587

  1. Warmest congratulations Big Dave on your splendid milestone! What an inspiration the NTSPP was! Thank you very much indeed, and my thanks, too, to all who have particpated here. The NTSPP is always one of my favourites! I have just popped in to voice my apprecation and print off a pdf of the puzzle!

      1. Many congratulations, Dave, on this fantastic milestone.
        Never underestimate how much your website means to so many people, both compilers and solvers alike.
        It is a very happy coincidence that my puzzle should mark this auspicious occasion.
        Please keep up the good work!

      2. Thank you for this screen shot Big Dave. It’s really most impressive. What distresses me is the deluge of spam comments with which you have had to deal to keep this Blog the wonderful way it is.
        Incidentally, I should also have added that the Rookie Corner was also an inspired inception. It certainly is proving a great success, as is very clear to see. :rose:

  2. Very enjoyable – thanks Shabbo.
    I ticked 16a, 1d and 5d but my favourite was the excellent 9/18d (although didn’t the Bard have more than a single trouble?).

    1. You are right, Gazza. The bard had more than one trouble – my mistake.
      Thank you for your very kind words – much appreciated.

  3. An outstanding milestone for the blog – congratulations and many thanks for hosting this excellent site, BD :good:

    And an outstanding puzzle from Shabbo to mark the occasion, with some lovely surface readings. I had to give three tick marks to 27d even though the answer has only 4 letters! There were many other ticks but I would like to give special mention to 1a, 16, 20, 9/18d and 14. Thank you, Shabbo, and also in advance to our reviewer, plus I look forward to the observations of other commentators.

  4. For me this pangram was pretty much a perfect NTSPP puzzle and a fitting tribute to mark BD’s 10,000th post. It is such a delight to have another setter in our midst who clearly recognises the additional enjoyment that smooth surfaces bring to the party.

    I know we don’t normally rate NTSPP puzzles but this one was definitely 5* for enjoyment. My page is littered with ticks, and I have given double ticks to 1a, 16a, 9/18d, 14d, 17d & 27d.

    Bravo, Shabbo, many thanks, and please keep them coming. Thanks too in advance to CS. Congratulations too to BD.

    1. And a pangram to boot – even better!! Well observed, RD, just the sort of thing I was looking forward to…

  5. It was such a pleasure solving this belter that I didn’t even notice the pangram until reading RD’s comment. Last in was 9/18d & it gave me ‘troubles’ aplenty before the penny dropped – clue of the week in my view. Full of lovely clues – 1a homophone & the drinks being watered down at 14d were 2 other crackers among many.
    Thanks Shabbo & congrats of course to BD

  6. Most enjoyable – didn’t know the apple in15a, and had russet in there to start with, but then I got 3d & the returned cash confirmed what it had to be. Particularly liked 26a.

  7. Congratulations to Big Dave. So pleased we found your great Crossword Blog and the Rookie and NTSPP puzzles etc which have given us hours of pleasure and head-scratching. Very many thanks. Now to Shabbo’s puzzle ….

  8. Congratulations BD – a fine achievement
    A cracking puzzle, nice work Shabbo

  9. Wonderful milestone – well done! Thanks for all the hard work which goes on behind the scenes – to you, Dave, for hosting, as well as your team of reviewers and setters. You have given many hours of fun and enjoyment to a lot of people.

    Thanks to Shabbo for a most enjoyable puzzle today (a pangram thrown in for good measure) and the reviewer. Favourite 9/18d.

  10. Well done indeed, Shabbo, an excellent contribution to the NTSPP slot on an auspicious occasion for the blog. Many thanks to BD for setting up both this and Rookie Corner – immensely enjoyable and great encouragement for newer setters.

  11. Many thanks Shabbo, 1a was a great start and the quality kept up from there on – good fun throughout.
    And many thanks and congratulations on the milestone to BD!

  12. Good evening
    Just a quick note from me to thank you all for your very kind comments.
    Time for a lie-down and then on with the next one!

  13. Been away so very late getting to this.
    Last one in was the very clever 9/18d combination.
    A well set puzzle and a real pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Shabbo and congratulations BD on the 10K milestone.

  14. Curses & damnation! I was beaten by the composer & the key. Having said that I thought that this was the best NTSPP we’ve been given for a long time. Congratulations BD & here’s to the next 10k. Cheers to your health & up your bottom.

  15. Many thanks for the review, CS. Looks as though Shabbo really ‘nailed it’ with this puzzle!

  16. well done Shabbo, very enjoyable

    10,000 – a great milestone Dave, congrats

  17. This was a particularly enjoyable puzzle. 1ac was a good start – my favourite clue. I wanted to thank Big Dave for starting this blog. It has significantly enhanced my enjoyment of the DT crossword, partly because I can now actually do the cryptic puzzles most of the time, and also all the comments provide a lot of pleasure.

  18. Didn’t get round to this till this afternoon but it was worth waiting for. No problems, just a smooth and fairly quick solve, although it took a few moments to recall the apple variety at 15ac, and I didn’t twig 9/18dn till the very end. Thanks, Shabbo and CS; congratulations BD.

  19. Very late to this but pleased I did do it. To say it put me in mind of a Silvanus puzzle is high praise indeed, so well done Shabbo and thanks as ever to the very resourceful CS for providing the review. Last but not least, thanks and congratulations to Big Dave, the blog gives solving a puzzle an extra dimension and we are all grateful for that.

  20. Just great to finish the weekend crosswords with your offering Shabbo.
    Enjoyed it from start to finish.
    Congratulations to BD for the milestone and congratulations to Shabbo for this excellent puzzle.

  21. Many thanks, Shabbo, for an enjoyable puzzle. Favourites were 14d, 1a and 28a. Thanks also to CS for explaining where the TS came from in Tsunami – wasn’t aware of the meaning of ‘on vacation’.

  22. I have high praise for your NTSPP, Shabbo. It is a superb puzzle which I greatly enjoyed. My fave is unquestionably 9/18d. I also loved 14d, the anagram 11a, and 16a. These are but three to mention from a plethora of excellent clues.

    Thank you very much Shabbo and congratulations. :yahoo: My thanks, too, to CS for the review which I have much enjoyed going through but did not need. It’s always good to see if one’s parsing is confirmed. :lol:

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